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We kind of eased our way into the developing world by dropping into Istanbul. It's many cities in one but the disparity between high and low living is very pronounced. You can see the city pulling itself towards modern Europe but you can't help but feel its ancient baggage in the streets, in the faces, in the sounds and smells. It's raw and beautiful. Ataturk was a man divided.

We rented this cool apartment in Beyoglu, an 'up and coming' neighborhood (N.B. I'll never stay in a hotel ever again. Craig's list apartment rentals is the way to go. It's so much cheaper than hotels and you actually feel like you're IN the place you're visiting) We couldn't figure out why it came with ear plugs until the first night when a muslim rap dance party across the alley started and didn't stop for 3 days - that plus the call to prayer made us feel super local. The 'housekeeper/mother' of the house made us incredible breakfasts with our rooftop view of the city. She kept talking and laughing even though we had no idea what she was saying. But homemade donuts and turkish coffee for breakfast!

The recap of Istanbul looks like this. We got lost a lot. We had an incredible meal at a century old converted school house with the manager who kept us company while we got smashed on life changing cocktails. Jazzy hip hop band called I Led Three Lives at Babylon, an intimate little music club. Meze. Sultanahmet, mosques and the mazes of the Harem. Bazaars and spices and doner kebab. And lots of pictures of textiles and tiles. A primary goal was inspiration for patterns and palettes.

The only thing I love more than looking through other people's sketchbooks is looking through other people's workshops. We were in a gallery when we met this sculptor, who was friends with the owner and whose workshop was upstairs.





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